In Quirk Heaven never rains, except when the Angel is sitting cozy somewhere inside where it’s DRY! That’s why in the real world when it rains, it becomes a real first world problem. For the featured quirk here I have some reserves but I can only cheer and applaud every initiative designed to make rain more comfortable. Enough said, it’s raining so let’s talk about the Nubrella!
Nubrella is a collapsible canopy kept in place by a (rather bulky and goofy looking) harness which allows free hands and protection even against strong winds. One problem when using a classic umbrella is the holding hand gets wet and cold. With Nubrella both hands can now rest in your warm pockets. When not in use it can be folded to the back, maintaining it’s hands free status. This specific umbrella variation is already at the second generation, therefore comes with improved features:
- weighs about 1kg, but having the weight distributed over the shoulders and back it’s almost unnoticed
- doesn’t become inverted against heavy wind
- it stays in position against wind gusts of up to 56 km/. At this wind strength I’m usually tightly holding a pole
- the amplitude of the shoulder harness is 66 cm, which makes it easy to fit through doors
- costs about €70
There are however some aspects that can be improved, since here in Quirk Heaven we look at every detail with critical eyes. After reading what people buying this umbrella have to say, these are the main disadvantages, and I hope inventor Alan Kaufman will accept the challenge and tick them off my blacklist with the next Nubrella generation:
- first, it looks at least funny. Once you’re out of the house and decide to take Nubrella with you, you have to wear it. Harness is visible, the lateral support sticks out and because it’s not flexible nor foldable, you will need to walk diagonally once in a while if you don’t want to poke people when it’s crowdy
- even though perfectly secured and in place, it still has a bounce when you walk, perhaps because the joints are so rigid. Not a big problem though once you get used to it
- doesn’t dry out like a traditional umbrella so finding a good place to leave it ventilate might be tricky when out of home
- some buyers complain the head is the only part of their body that stays protected, since you can’t adjust the pitch against wind direction like with a classic umbrella. I would argue back here and say that if you expect rain, then you should wear a rain jacket as well
In spite of its high price and even though I didn’t personally test it yet, I will give this quirky innovation my thumbs up. Great idea, even better invention. Needs some chiseling but I see overall possibilities for on the go: work commuters, photographers, gardeners, bikers, disabled and people in wheelchairs, dog walkers, mothers pushing strollers, festival goers and so many more.